Washington: [Washington], 1850. Good. First Edition. Ex-Library, [9x6in]; 976 pp., six of seven maps (five folding); Original half bound marbled paper covers with gilt lettering on leather spine, all edges trimmed, Shelf wear to covers, edges, and corners, chips to marbled paper, rubbing to covers and spine, corners bumped, leather missing and frayed, some old tape on edges, spine faded with chips and splits at ends, typical public library markings with pasted card on rear end paper, some water stains and heavy foxing to text, maps in good condition with some misfolds, chips and closed tears along edges, several old and new archival tape repairs to closed tears, Fremont-Preuss map (No. 5) not present (see listing of maps below). [Kurutz Calif 106b, Howes P447, Wheat Books 31, Wheat Maps 79, Zamorano80 14, Rittenhouse 588]. Item #14188
The House and, later, Senate [Report 18, Serial 577] publications were important in the reports of the California gold rush and conditions along with the updates of the other western territories. The Fremont-Preuss and Riley-Derby maps added to the information on the gold mines locations and routes to California. The publications included seven maps to support the reports by General Riley and others.
The maps included with this book are (1) Map of Fort Hill Monterey California reduced by Scale from Lieut. Warner's Field Map made in 1847, (2) Untitled sketch of San Francisco Bay, (3) Untitled map of Lower California, (4) Plan No. 2 Sketch of Port Escondido Lower California, (6) Sketch of General Riley's Route through the Mining Districts July and Aug. 1849, Copied from original sketch by Lt. Derby [Wheat Maps 79], (7) Plan of the Route of the Expedition of Major Beall, 1st Drag's for the Relief of the Wagons of Mr. F. X. Aubrey against the Apache Indians. All maps were printed by Ackerman Lithography.
General Bennet Riley (1787-1853) was the 6th and last Military Governor of California in 1849. He ordered four surveys of California to be lead by Lt. George Derby (1823-1861). From Wheat, "... George Horatio Derby (1823-1861), born at Dedham, Massachusetts, April 2, 1823, graduated from West Point in 1846, and after a tour of duty in the East and Middle West, came to California in 1849. He accompanied Brig Genl. Riley on a tour of the gold districts during the summer of that year, and his `Sketch of General Riley's Route' was the result of that journey." The purpose was to identify existing settlements and mining camps and determine locations of strategic military supply routes and posts to "... afford protection for and from the Indians and keep the peace among the gold miners." [William H. Goetzmann, Army Exploration in the American West 1803-1863, Yale University Press, 1959, p.255]. This map relates to another important early map of the Sacramento Valley surveyed in September and October 1849 from north of Sacramento City to the Butte River (the second survey ordered by General Riley).
The Sketch of General Riley's Route was an important and a highly desirable map of California Gold Rush diggings. The reports of Brev Brig Gen. Bennet Riley dated at Monterey on September 20, 1849 entitled "Report of a Reconnoissance of a Portion of the San Joaquin and Sacramento Valleys". From Wheat, "The map provides the earliest names and location of the mining camps and diggings in the central Sierra foothills along the American, Cosumne, Dry Creek, Mokelumne, Calaveras, Stanislaus, Tuolumne, Merced, Lost Creek, Maraposa [sic] and King rivers of the Central Valley draining to the San Joaquin river." The more populated camps were Mormon Island (misspelled Mormont), Coloma (mislabeled Colluma), Curtis, Sullivan's, Jamestown, Woods, Maj. Miller's and Sonoran Camps. Lt. Derby provides topographical and travel conditions along the routes with dates and details in the geography, terrain and communities.